In November 2014, then Twitter CEO Dick Costolo touted the idea that around 500 million people consume the microblogging platform's tweets even though they don't have an account on it. During an earnings call at the time, Costolo was trying to explain why the company's persistent user-growth issues may have been overshadowing the impact Twitter has on the larger media universe.
Nine months later, as Twitter looks to replace Costolo, his former employer is introducing new features and showing what that non-Twitter audience can mean to its mobile advertisers.
Marketers can now run Promoted Tweets and Promoted Videos on other mobile apps on the Twitter Audience Platform (TAP), a renaming of its year-old Twitter Publishing Network. Until now, the network was only for mobile app-install ads. The TAP promos will appear via publisher apps such as Slack Radio, Words with Friends 2, The Voice, Kim Kardashian Hollywood and Weather Plus. This ad network leans on the technology Twitter gained when it acquired MoPub nearly two years ago.
With just a click or two, advertisers can extend the same creative and data targeting they use for Promoted Tweets and Promoted Videos to other apps. And consumers will be able to retweet and favorite the ads when they appear on other sites, just like people do on Twitter.
Retailer Macy's and music-speaker manufacturer Harman are among the brands that have successfully tested the new Twitter Audience Network ads.
"By extending our ad campaign from Twitter to mobile apps, we were able to drive incremental reach, strong performance and promotional efficiencies," Serena Potter, group vp of digital media strategy at Macy's, said in a statement. "We achieved an engagement rate of 7.85 percent, which surpassed industry benchmarks for mobile display campaigns."
Added Dave Spinato, global director of digital marketing and social media for Harman, "We achieved an engagement rate 15 [times] the industry average, as well as 70 percent incremental reach. To be getting that increase on top of our great engagement was just amazing for us."
It will be intriguing to see if TAP materially affects Twitter's ad sales when the company reports fourth-quarter earnings in early 2016.
Ameet Ranadive, Twitter's senior director of revenue products, told Adweek that "marketers love the targeting and signals available, and they've been asking for the opportunity for more reach."
The rebranding of Twitter Publishing Network as Twitter Audience Platform appears to be aimed at drawing more scale-minded brands and agencies, and Ranadive and his team are now saying its cross-platform reach encompasses 700 million consumers—a 200-person jump from Costolo's original claim.
Twitter also has introduced creative-minded versatility that will let marketers transform native ads into banner or interstitial promos. The examples below demonstrate how a Promoted Tweet could become an interstitial with a "Learn More" call-to-action button: